Jillian Queri | Clarion

Reigning National Champions and the overall NCAA title record holders (23), the DU Pioneer ski team boasted a potent start to their 2017 campaign. The Pioneers began the season at the RMISA (Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Skiing Association) qualifier and the Utah Invitational on Jan. 7.

Senior nordic skier Mortiz Madlener (Sulzberg Bavaria, Germany) won the collegiate class by a significant margin with a time of 35:22.4. Sophomore Lars Hannah (Steamboat Springs, Colorado) and freshman Eivind Kvaale (Hoydalsmo, Norway) finished in fourth and fifth place.

For the women’s nordic skiers, sophomore Taeler McCrerey (Frisco, Colorado) placed fifth overall and second in the junior class with a time of 28:47.0.

For the alpine men’s team, freshman Tanner Farrow (Hailey, Idaho) finished in twelfth place with a time of 2:06.97. Senior Alex Leever (Vail, Colorado) followed closely in fourteenth place with a time of 2:07.15.

Sophomore Tuva Norbye (Oslo, Norway) took fifth place, leading the women’s alpine team with a time of 2:05.21. Senior Monica Hübner (Garmisch-Partenkrichen, Germany) finished in seventh with a time of 2:05.30.

During the second day of racing, the Pioneers finished in second place overall with a score of 295 points behind in-state rival the University of Colorado-Boulder, who amassed 303.5 points.

Madlener took third place in the Classic Sprint with a time of 3:43.6. Kvaale finished behind him in fourth place with a time of 3:45.1.

Sophomore Jasmi Josensuu (Kuortane, Finland) took fifth place in the women’s Classic Sprint, finishing in 3:37.3.

In the Men’s Giant Slalom, Leever placed 14th with a time of 2:12.57.

On the women’s side, sophomore Kristine Fausa Aasberg (Baerum, Norway) clinched third place with a time of 2:15.85. Norbye finished in sixth, with a time of 2:17.44. Freshman Andrea Komsic (Zagreb, Croatia) placed tenth with her time of 2:18.25.

The Pioneers’ success carried over at the Montana State University Invitational in the Slalom races in Big Sky, Montana. Denver finished in second place scoring 308 points behind Colorado who totalled 334 points. 

Norbye finished seventh with a time of 1:40.46. Aasberg and Komsic tied for eight with a time of 1:40.76.

In the men’s race, freshman Nick Santaniello (Vail, Colorado) placed third with a time of 1:45.46. Leever followed just behind him with a time of 1:45.11. Senior Sebastian Brigovic (Rijeka, Croatia) finished in sixth place with a time of 1:45.46. Farrow took seventh with a time of 1:45.81.

The Alpine team continued competition at the University of Utah Invitational on Jan. 12. Komsic finished first overall with a time of 2:02.80 and Hübner finished third with a time of 2:02.99.

In the Men’s Slalom race, Brigovic placed sixth with a time of 1:49.82. Santaniello took seventh with a time of 1:49.98 and Farrow finished ninth with a time of 1:50.41.

The Nordic team continued competition on Jan. 14 finishing in third with 602 points behind Utah with 603.5 points and Colorado with 670 points.

In the Men’s 20k Classic, Madlener took second with a time of 1:0057.8. Hannah finished in sixth with a time of 1:02.38.5 and junior Dag Frode Trolleboe (Oslo, Norway) finished in ninth with a time of 1:03.10.3.

In the Women’s 15k Classic, McCrerey placed fourth with a time of 00:53:30.9, while classmate Joensuu finished tenth with a time of 00:55:43.5.

The Pioneers will continue their season on Jan. 25 at the Alaska Anchorage Invitational in Girdwood, Alaska.